A crowd packed into the Bass Lake Property Owner’s Association building, filling up the seats and taking up every space available in the parking lot to attend the Starke County Republican Lincoln Day Dinner. With a number of prominent community members in attendance, including government representatives at the county, state, and federal levels, including Congresswoman Jackie Walorski, those in attendance got a solid idea of what is happening legislatively.
Walorski spoke to those in attendance and explained what she has been working on at the federal level, and explained that she is working to pass a piece of legislation to balance the budget for the country. She said that Indiana has such an amendment in place, ensuring the budget balances out, and she is hoping to bring that idea to Washington.
“The last time this Congress looked at a balance budget amendment, it nearly passed – it only failed by a couple of votes. So I am optimistic this year, as we look at some of the windows of opportunity we have working with the Senate, that there’s a real possibility that my little piece of legislation, something that we do in the state of Indiana – we have a balance budget amendment in our Constitution for Indiana, that we will actually be able to see that translate to the federal level this year,” Walorski said.
Walorski also made it a point to explain that she is working hard to represent Indiana and keep Hoosier values and principles in mind as she works to improve the country as a whole. She said it is vitally important to stay true to her Hoosier roots.
“I think the second part of accurately representing you is staying true to these principals, by planting my feet in the right place and then standing firm in Washington and not being swayed at what happens in Washington, but being absolutely rooted and grounded in Hoosier principals and I can tell you that I am,” said Walorski.
State representatives Tom Dermody and Doug Gutwein also attended the dinner, along with State Senator Ed Charbonneau. Two Republican candidates for county sheriff also made presentations to the assembled crowd: Billy Bope and Greg Wireman. Bope emphasized the duties and values of serving as sheriff, breaking the title down to an acronym: Serve, Honor, Enforce, Respect, Integrity, Family, and Friends. Wireman was introduced by Koontz Lake resident and 32-year member of the Chicago Police Department John Kohles, who endorsed Wireman’s candidacy.
At the end of the dinner, Talia Reed and Brenda Stanojevic made a special presentation in honor of the late Gene Blastic, who was honored in January with the Henry F. Schricker Award. Blastic was honored for his “service before self” attitude and was active in many community programs including the Starke County Economic Development Foundation, Starke United, Starke County Chamber of Commerce, Starke County Right to Life, and countless others. In light of his dedication and service to the Republican Party and his community, Reed read the poem “Dirge Without Music,” and she and Stanojevic presented Carol Blastic and Jeanene Calabrese with a plaque to honor his memory.